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Poster: Skobud Date: Apr 13, 2011 11:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Matrix Sound Structure as a Reflection of the Four Winds

Hunter I read your essay and I think it is interesting(but very hard to follow). I think there are a few distinctions that need to be made in order to clear up what you are saying. I like the way you have applied principles of Hermetic philosophy to your work. Specifically, the “Hermetic principle of Polarity” and the way you compare it to sound. I think the most important thing is to make clear that these principles are not based in science at all. Hermeticism is a set of beliefs that are based in mythology, and are more like a philosophy than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the idea – Its just that your essay reads like an academic text regarding sound and the way it travels, but no where do you mention that it is just an idea or school of thought, like Yin and Yang is to Taoism.

The other thing is that a sound wave as you describe it, is a mechanical wave not a pressure wave – nothing more than a disturbance through a medium. I guess I am a little confused here – Your traveling wave diagram is an attempt to explain how a pressure wave works? And how it applies to Hermeticism? Also I think you are a little confused about Amplitude. Greater amplitude does not necessarily mean the sound will be louder – Amplitude as you are describing it is the extent of the vibration measured from the mean to the extreme. So, it can be the distance above or below ambient pressure line on your graph. Amplitude does not equal volume.

My only real comment is regarding your summary:

“Taking these two positive and negative aspects of a waveform into consideration,
we can see how stereophonic sound indeed has a four-fold structure involving its two
different channels: there is an intricate sonic relationship occurring between four distinct
levels of compression and rarefaction. We can conclude from this that perhaps the main
reason why our minds create a three-dimensional sound space so vividly is because the
“Four Winds” of stereophonic audio are working together to establish this unique spatial
world - for how is there a true or complete aural world without “four corners”? The
structural essence of the Four Winds is thus reflected in the stereophonic spectrum –
and even more so in a matrix - as four ordering and proliferating energies that hold the
“sonic image” together through a complex polarity, which establishes the three dimensional world in our minds for us to dance within.”

If this is true, then seeing a performance live would be inferior to listening to a matrix done by you because of this unique spatial relationship that is created by the structural essence of your work???? i.e. – The four ordering and proliferating energies that hold together the sonic image through complex polarity?

Yea, right….Don’t you think that is just a little self indulgent? The “aural world” as you call it is incomplete without hearing your work? Give me a break dude. Its called simulated surround sound and its been around for 25 years.

Sorry Hunter, I just have a big problem with the way you present all of this in your essay. Its not science, and its definately not an accurate description of sound either. Its an opinion and a comparison, and you should just present it that way.

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Poster: hseamons Date: Apr 13, 2011 2:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Matrix Sound Structure as a Reflection of the Four Winds


Thank you for the thorough critique. I appreciate it, since feedback helps clear things and creates dialogue. You do point out certain aspects that I understand are "weaknesses" from a certain point of view. Here are some points I want to respond to:

1) I am aware the Hermetic Principles are not rooted in science, although science sometimes corroborates them. So, I am approaching sound from more of an "alchemist's" perspective than a purely scientific one, which I am comfortable with in terms of the non-scientific reflections. Maybe saying this explicitly would be helpful, but I kind of liked the idea of not.

2) I am simply pointing out that a traveling sound wave disturbs the medium in a polar fashion by compressing or decompressing it. There is polar oscillation throughout a waveform, which follows the Hermetic Principle of Polarity.

3) I believe you are mistaken regarding several aspects of a sound wave. First, a sound wave is a mechanical wave expressed AS an air pressure wave when it travels through the air. They are one and the same, just different distinctions. Second, amplitude is related to loudness.

From Wikipedia:

"Loudness is the quality of a sound that is primarily a psychological correlate of physical strength (amplitude)."

Increased amplitude (above and below the ambient pressure line) generally means the sound will be louder. Another factor here is "intensity," but I chose not to describe it since it is not part of the graph. (For example, a SBD and AUD of a show can have similar amplitudes but different intensities.)

4) Your final point leaves out the important fact that I described stereophonic sound here as a form of sound reproduction with respect to recordings, not live shows. It's obvious that a matrix is not better than a live show. A show creates an aural world that is three-dimensional, just as a matrix or non-matrix does on a much more contained, 2-channel level. To assert that I am proclaiming matrixes to be better than live shows as a means of self-indulgence is a major oversight in your reading. I still stand by my argument that matrixes give a MORE complete "aural image" of a live show, as it is being reproduced.

Also, you seemed to have missed that I stated that these four "energies" are inherent in non-matrix recordings as well - so it's not my work, per se, that is doing this "special" thing of creating a three-dimensional space in the mind.

This post was modified by hseamons on 2011-04-13 21:27:58

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Poster: Skobud Date: Apr 14, 2011 4:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Matrix Sound Structure as a Reflection of the Four Winds

Hey Hunter - As you can probably tell i am a science guy first and foremost...I wanted to make that distinction because i thought your post read like the Hermetic principles were truths...Now as far as Amplitude and Pressure vs. Mechanical waves, I'll be honest. I had to look it up after reading your reply. The way I was taught about sound was the slnky on a table, basic mechanics...I did read this morning that a mechanical wave(sound) could also be called a pressure wave - I never heard described that way before and i was a little suprised, but you are correct in saying that it can be described that way. As far as Amplitude, my point was that it is not a volume knob and and Amplitude does not equal volume. I think your essay reads like it is a volume knob of sorts. Either way, i think we are basically saying the same thing..

Also, I have no problem with your work..Im not a huge fan of the Matrix, but in some cases it makes the unlistenable, listenable. My favorite example of that is 7/17/76. I know that is not your work, but it exemplifies for me the need for a matrix. I guess my favorite piece of your work would be 6/22/73. You did a fine job on that one.

Anyhow, I am glad you did not see my opinion of your essay as a straight slam. I just thought it read like you were passing off those principles as straight science. Being an engineer, I get caught up in the details very easily..Peace

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Poster: hseamons Date: Apr 14, 2011 2:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Matrix Sound Structure as a Reflection of the Four Winds

Cool. Thanks.

Regarding my use of the Hermetic Principles, I would not include them if I thought they were false. Science cannot prove or disprove that the universe is Mental, for example; it just falls outside of the realm of objective science.

This post was modified by hseamons on 2011-04-14 21:47:57